About

Are you interested in literary and film analysis, cultural studies, creative writing, language studies, or the study of writing and rhetoric in a wide variety of contexts? Are you interested in teaching English or improving your own writing?

The MA in English program offers eight concentrations: English studies, creative writing, literature, linguistics, multicultural/transnational literatures (offered online), TESOL, rhetoric and composition, and technical and professional communication (offered online). Students interested in combining courses from several areas can choose the concentration in English Studies. Our campus MA program includes a number of assistantship opportunities that provide students with experiences tutoring, teaching, editing, publishing, and contributing to scholarly and community engagement projects.

Students in the MA program have opportunities to work with several journals, scholarly projects, and the university writing program through tutoring and teaching writing foundations courses. The Department of English is home to three prestigious journals. The North Carolina Literary Review is the premiere journal celebrating the writers and artists of North Carolina. Explorations in Renaissance Culture is a nationally and internationally recognized journal for the study of early modern literature, history, and culture. Tar River Poetry is a nationally and internationally recognized journal that publishes original works by leading poets. Students also have opportunities to work with The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne and its online project Digital Donne as well as with the Stuart Wright Collection and the Contemporary Writers Series. Students will also have opportunities to conduct research related to the theory and practice of writing and literacy practices given the university's commitment to writing through the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

ECU Advantage

Students graduating from our program secure positions at community colleges, colleges, and universities teaching writing and introduction to literature courses. The majority of MA graduates from our program, who held assistantships, are teaching in community colleges, four-year-colleges, and universities across the state of North Carolina and beyond. Of the 58 community colleges in the state, graduates from our programs have been employed, or are employed, at more than half. We see this placement as important to the regional mission of our university and one of the ways the department contributes to workforce and economic development.

Many students go on to MFA and PhD programs. Others take positions as writers and communicators in public relations, marketing, and within the public sector. Some of our graduates work at universities in advising, marketing, alumni affairs, and other positions where communication and writing is vital.

Our MA program is unique in the wide variety of experiences and opportunities we provide students. We support MA students through assistantships, which is integral to their professional development.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Andrea Kitta (2211 Bate Building; 252-328-6660; kittaa@ecu.edu)

A minimum of 33 s.h. of course work is required, with a final examination on the thesis or comprehensive assessment project; subject matter from course work may also be a part of the examination.

A research methods course, selected from - 3 s.h.
  • ENGL 6009 - Research Methods in Language Study
  • ENGL 6702 - Research Methods in Technical and Professional Communication
  • ENGL 6805 - Research: The Writer's Perspective
  • ENGL 7005 - Bibliography and Methods
  • ENGL 7601 - Research Design in Rhetoric and Composition
Area of concentration - 18 s.h.

(choose one of the following)

    1. English studies:

    An approved, unified program of study, including courses from at least two concentrations or areas of study for a total of 18 s.h. of coursework chosen from ENGL courses.

      2. Creative writing:
        Maximum of 12 s.h. from
        • ENGL 6840 - Advanced Poetry Writing
        • ENGL 6850 - Advanced Fiction Writing
        • ENGL 6868 - Advanced Nonfiction Writing
        • ENGL 6898 - Advanced Script Writing
        Minimum of 6 s.h. from
        • ENGL 6865 - Creative Writing
        • ENGL 6870 - Literature: The Writer's Perspective
        • ENGL 6880 - Directed Readings in Creative Writing
      3. Linguistics:
      • ENGL 6530 - Descriptive Linguistics
      • 15 s.h. from
        • ENGL 6505 - Linguistic and Cultural History of the English Language
        • ENGL 6525 - Language and Society
        • ENGL 6526 - The Structure of English: Phonology and Morphology
        • ENGL 6527 - The Structure of English: Syntax and Semantics
        • ENGL 6528 - TESOL: Theories and Principles
        • ENGL 6531 - TESOL: Methods and Practicum
        • ENGL 6535 - Principles of Language Testing
        • ENGL 6680 - Writing Systems of the World
        • ENGL 7565 - Linguistics, Education, and ESL
        • ENGL 7605 - Discourse Analysis
      4. Literature:
        6 s.h. from
        • ENGL 6151 - British Literature Before 1800
        • ENGL 6220 - American Literature Before 1865
        6 s.h. from
        • ENGL 5150 - Topics in the Novel
        • ENGL 5170 - Modern Drama
        • ENGL 5230 - Southern Regional Literature
        • ENGL 5280 - Topics in Poetry
        • ENGL 6151 - British Literature Before 1800
        • ENGL 6155 - British Literature After 1800
        • ENGL 6195 - Topics in Drama
        • ENGL 6220 - American Literature Before 1865
        • ENGL 6250 - American Literature After 1865
        • ENGL 6270 - Literature and the Environment
        • ENGL 6330 - Studies in Latino/a Literatures
        • ENGL 6350 - Studies in Native American Literature
        • ENGL 6390 - Advanced Studies of Science Fiction and Fantasy
        6 s.h. from either of the previous two groups or from
        • ENGL 5330 - Studies in Women's Literature
        • ENGL 6065 - Topics in Literary Theory and Criticism
        • ENGL 6340 - Ethnic American Literature
        • ENGL 6360 - World Literature Written in English
        • ENGL 6370 - Caribbean Literature
        • ENGL 6380 - Studies in African Literature
        • ENGL 6450 - Studies in World Indigenous Literatures
        • ENGL 6515 - Advanced Studies in Children's Literature
        • ENGL 6870 - Literature: The Writer's Perspective
        • ENGL 7070 - Literary Theory
        • ENGL 7165 - English Literature
        • ENGL 7265 - American Literature
        • ENGL 7365 - Selected Topics in Multicultural and Transnational Literature
      5. Multicultural and transnational literatures:

      18 s.h. from

      • ENGL 6330 - Studies in Latino/a Literatures
      • ENGL 6340 - Ethnic American Literature
      • ENGL 6345 - Jewish Literature
      • ENGL 6350 - Studies in Native American Literature
      • ENGL 6360 - World Literature Written in English
      • ENGL 6370 - Caribbean Literature
      • ENGL 6375 - Middle Eastern Literature
      • ENGL 6380 - Studies in African Literature
      • ENGL 6420 - Studies in Asian American Literature
      • ENGL 6450 - Studies in World Indigenous Literatures
      • ENGL 6460 - Studies in African American Literature
      • ENGL 7070 - Literary Theory
      • ENGL 7080 - Cultural Studies Theory and Method
      • ENGL 7300 - Directed Reading in Multicultural and Transnational Literature
      • ENGL 7350 - Seminar in Multicultural and Transnational Literature
      • ENGL 7365 - Selected Topics in Multicultural and Transnational Literature
      • ENGL 7465 - Folklore
      6. Rhetoric and composition:
      • ENGL 6625 - Teaching Composition: Theory and Practice
      • space
      • ENGL 7615 - History and Theory of Rhetoric I or
      • ENGL 7620 - History and Theory of Rhetoric II
      • space
      • ENGL 7630 - Cultural Rhetoric and Writing
      • 6 s.h. from
        • ENGL 6000 - Critical Writing in English Studies
        • ENGL 7665 - Rhetoric and Composition
        • ENGL 7950 - Issues in Teaching Composition
        • ENGL 7960 - Methods of Teaching English in the Two-Year College
        • ENGL 7975 - Developmental English in the Two-Year College
        3 s.h. from linguistics, TESOL, or technical and professional communication concentration.
        7. Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL):
        • ENGL 6528 - TESOL: Theories and Principles
        • ENGL 6530 - Descriptive Linguistics
        • ENGL 6531 - TESOL: Methods and Practicum
        • 9 s.h. from
          • ENGL 6505 - Linguistic and Cultural History of the English Language
          • ENGL 6525 - Language and Society
          • ENGL 6526 - The Structure of English: Phonology and Morphology
          • ENGL 6527 - The Structure of English: Syntax and Semantics
          • ENGL 6535 - Principles of Language Testing
          • ENGL 6680 - Writing Systems of the World
          • ENGL 7565 - Linguistics, Education, and ESL
          • ENGL 7605 - Discourse Analysis
        8. Technical and professional communication:
        • ENGL 7702 - Research Design in Technical and Professional Communication
        • 15 s.h. from
          • ENGL 6700 - Document Design and Production
          • ENGL 6702 - Research Methods in Technical and Professional Communication
          • ENGL 6715 - Technical Writing
          • ENGL 6721 - Copyediting in Professional Communication
          • ENGL 6725 - Directed Readings in Technical and Professional Writing
          • ENGL 6740 - Internship in Technical and Professional Communication
          • ENGL 6741 - Internship in Technical and Professional Communication
          • ENGL 7705 - Ethical Issues in Professional Communication
          • ENGL 7710 - Professional Communication
          • ENGL 7712 - Grant and Proposal Writing
          • ENGL 7716 - Classics in Scientific and Technical Literature
          • ENGL 7721 - Managing Editing and Publication Processes
          • ENGL 7730 - Issues in Technical Communication
          • ENGL 7745 - Teaching Professional Communication
          • ENGL 7746 - Training in Professional Communication
          • ENGL 7750 - Writing Public Science
          • ENGL 7765 - Technical and Professional Communication
          • ENGL 7766 - Special Studies Seminars in Communication and Emerging Technologies
          • ENGL 7780 - Theory of Professional Communication
          • ENGL 7785 - History of Professional Communication
          • ENGL 7790 - Public Interest Writing
      English electives or courses from another department - 6 s.h.
        Additional Requirements:
          For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

          Careers With This Degree

          Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

          • English Language and Literature, General
          • Grant-writing, fund-raising, and providing outreach
          • Developer, Curator of information for Social Media
          • English Language and Literature, General
          • Developer, materials and textbooks for language arts cour
          • Public Information Officers for businesses/municipalities
          • Technical Documentation for Industry
          • Teacher, English or English to Speakers of other languages
          • Problem Solving related to language and pattern recognition

          Career Opportunities

          ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

          NC Tower

          This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

          • Self-employed;
          • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
          • Work outside of North Carolina.

          US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

          This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

          Degree-specific internships

          For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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